Wind Energy’s Long Shadow

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Wind Energy Technologies Office


March 30, 2022

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In This Issue

Continue to follow the Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) for the latest news, events, and updates.

Icon for land-based wind.

Did You Know?  

When properly sited, wind energy projects provide a net environmental benefit to the communities in which they operate and to the nation overall. To help realize these benefits, WETO supports efforts to help wind energy projects coexist with local wildlife. 

Research & Development Feature

An illustration of a landscape with a house and a wind turbine.

Living in Wind Energy’s Shadow

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory studied perceptions of the shadows created by rotating wind turbines known as shadow flicker. They discovered that more exposure to shadow flicker does not mean more annoyance. Instead, researchers found that shadow flicker annoyance is primarily a subjective response to other factors, such as wind turbine aesthetics and general annoyance to nearby sounds, such as those from lawnmowers and traffic.

“Awareness is also influenced by other observable characteristics, such as the distance to the nearest turbine and whether a respondent moved in after the project was built,” said Ben Hoen, a research scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. 


Collegiate Wind Competition Helps Prepare Wind Energy’s Next Generation

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is now accepting applications for the 2023 Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC). The organizers have implemented a new application process and timeline to make next year’s competition more accessible to schools that have not participated in the past, broadening the CWC’s reach and impact. Applications are due June 20, 2022.

Woman working on a wind turbine, graphic saying "We're looking for the next generation of wind energy professionals"

As DOE invites students to apply to participate in next year’s competition, the 2022 teams are gearing up for the finale of this year’s event. Twelve competing teams and four learn-along teams will present their wind turbine prototypes, wind project siting plans, and outreach activities May 16–18, 2022 at American Clean Power Association’s CLEANPOWER 2022 Conference & Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas. The 2022 CWC focuses on the challenges associated with fixed-bottom offshore wind energy projects.

By participating in the CWC, students develop the skills, experience, and connections that will help them break into the growing wind energy industry and the wider renewable energy industry.

Report Outlines Supply Chain Needs To Achieve Offshore Wind Energy 2030 Goal

DOE and the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium released a collaborative report authored by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which outlines supply chain needs required to reach the United States’ national offshore wind energy goal of 30 gigawatts by 2030. The Demand for a Domestic Offshore Wind Energy Supply Chain provides a summary of the components, ports, vessels, and workforces that are likely needed to achieve the 2030 target—and identifies barriers that must be faced. The report is part of a larger project overseen by the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium, whose growing membership includes major entities from the offshore wind energy industry.

Wind Energy Technologies Office Director Bob Marlay Retires

Man smiling at the camera.

After 53 years serving in the federal government, WETO Director Robert C. Marlay retired on March 3, 2022.

Bob served in the U.S. Navy for 32 years before joining DOE. During his distinguished career at DOE, Bob served 16 administrations and held multiple leadership roles in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, including nearly four years as WETO’s director.  

Bob is a true clean energy champion. He served the nation with honor and integrity and demonstrated tremendous commitment and professionalism throughout his career.

WETO’s Deputy Director Jim Ahlgrimm was named Acting Director until Bob’s replacement is selected.


Conference: April 26–28, 2022, Atlantic City, NJ 

Hosted by the Business Network for Offshore Wind, this three-day offshore wind energy conference will consist of panels and presentations that will bring together the global offshore wind industry and offer the latest in educational content. U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm is a featured speaker. Agenda and registration details can be found on the International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum website. 

Conference: May 2–5, 2022, Houston, TX 

Advance your scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters by attending the Offshore Wind Technology Conference. On Tuesday, May 5, 2022, don’t miss Jocelyn Brown-Saracino, the offshore wind energy lead for DOE, as she highlights the importance of offshore wind as part of the energy justice transition. Find more information on the Offshore Wind Technology Conference website.

Conference: May 16–18, 2022, San Antonio, TX  

The American Clean Power Association’s annual conference will feature panels, presentations, workshops, and poster sessions that make up the renewables mix from land-based wind, offshore wind, solar, storage, and transmission. Find more information on the event website.

Competition: May 16–18, 2022, San Antonio, TX

Join us at the 2022 CWC as multidisciplinary university teams present the culmination of their work in wind energy over the past year. Find more information on the event website.

Conference: May 23–25, 2022, Denver, CO

The ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit is designed to move transformational energy technologies out of the lab and into the market by asking experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America's energy challenges in new and innovative ways. A highlight of this year’s technology showcase is the ATLANTIS program, which aims to develop new and potentially disruptive innovations in floating offshore wind technology. Agenda and registration details can be found on the ARPA-E website.

Workshop: October 17–20, 2022, Albuquerque, NM

The workshop brings together wind energy industry experts, wind farm stakeholders and operators, manufacturers, and researchers to address the major topics for wind turbine blades, facilitate interaction and networking among the attendees, and identify future technology pathways. For more information, visit Sandia’s website. 

In Case You Missed It 

  • DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has issued a request for proposals for the Competitiveness Improvement Project. Applications will be accepted through April 8, 2022, at 2 p.m. Mountain Time.
  • DOE has released a series of 13 deep-dive assessments on American manufacturing supply chains, reviewing both the obstacles to a reliable supply of key materials and opportunities for improvement. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy developed seven of the assessments, including one on wind energy, each of which focuses on a different component of DOE’s clean-energy portfolio.
  • Over the past decade, the U.S. wind fleet’s average capacity factor has increased substantially. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory took a detailed look at generation records and surface wind speed observations across the last decade. See more in the open access paper in the journal Wind Energy.
  • A new newsletter includes information about how DOE's Office of Electricity is supporting the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law through the Building a Better Grid Initiative and is expanding cutting-edge R&D around innovative grid technologies, energy storage, and advanced modeling and data analytics.
  • Apply by April 15, 2022, for Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project​. Visit the application page to watch a webinar, get application details, and find a regional partner who can help you start your application.